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Network Clog Buster

Bandwidth

To the chagrin of many an e-mail-happy employee, company networks operate with a finite amount of bandwidth, and too much data trying to squeeze through the network makes for sluggish performance. Santa Clara, CA-based Peribit Networks offers a solution: pump up existing capacity by culling repetitive data out of network traffic.

The same PowerPoint presentation, for instance, e-mailed out to hundreds of sales reps, can hog bandwidth. Using algorithms originally developed to find patterns in gene sequences, Peribit’s software sniffs out repetitions in network data. The software runs on a device at each end of a network link and, at the sending end, replaces repetitive data with small labels that travel on using little bandwidth. The first time the device makes a replacement it sends on both the label and the data; its partner on the receiving end uses that key to recognize the label each time it arrives and substitute in the original information. The technology works on all document types as well, from e-mails to video clips.

“The beauty of this is that it’s a show-me’ sell,” says Joseph Baylock, group vice president at Stamford, CT-based consultancy Gartner. That’s because the technology, which began shipping in August, produces graphical reports that show both bandwidth use reduction and return on investment-which Peribit predicts will begin within three to six months for the $20,000 box, depending on the size of the network and average monthly bandwidth costs. The system may not clear the network streets entirely, but it just might make them less crowded.

Deep Dive

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DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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